Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001
Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Killinchy parish

Church of Ireland 1st Presbyterian Church, Killinchy

Presbyterian Non Subscribing Church, Killinchy in Balloo townland


2nd or Reformed Presbyterian Church, Ballymacashin

Raffrey Presbyterian Church Ravara Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church Carrickmannon Catholic Chapel
Ballygowan Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ballygowan Balloo Crossroads Drumreagh Bridge & village

Balloo crossroads, Killinchy village


This area was originally owned by the White family c. 1609. It had a wind mill in 1833 which was on the highest point of this parish, 258 feet above sea level, also a reading & farming society library. In 1833 the town was described as miserably small and poor with fine well cultivated land around it.There were 17 one-storey houses, thatched & one two-storey house, slate roofed also two grocers & spirit dealers, 3 shoemakers, 1 tailor, 2 policemen, 2 smiths & 1 nailor. The fair was held once a quarter but was poorly attended. The male & female school was erected in 1825 . In 1871 there were 831 Catholic & 4020 Protestant families in the parish. The parish population in 1910 was 3139.

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
police barracks 5 Aug 1837: cattle show 12 Aug 1837: Poor Law district population was 3195 in 30 Nov 1839; great failure of potato crop in this area 1 Nov 1845*; rent reduction 2 Mar 1850: tenants rights meeting 17 Jul 1852: sale of ‘Ardview’ 10 Sep 1853: SS teachers leaving for USA 3 Jun 1854;To be let, windmill, flax mill 7 Apr 1855; windmill, scutch mill and kilns to let 30 Oct 1858;To be let, windmill, scutch mill, kilns, stores, cottage & land 21 Jul 1866; new Masonic hall 2 Jul 1870; serious case of infanticide 18 Oct 1879

Newspaper articles from Northern Independent;
oyster beds 26 Oct 1872

Newspaper articles from Newtownards Chronicle;
murder at Killinchy 4 Jul 1874 ; Farming Society annjual show 24 Jul 1875 ; farmer murdered by his servant 1 Mar 1879 ; breach of promise case 14 Mar 1891; tenant farmers assoc 4 Jun 1892; graveyard dispute 22 Jul 1893

The lovely old postcard was kindly sent by Nancy Schaalje. The back reads "R. J. McCullough, Killinchy" ReferencesV7 p 86,91, 92 OSM; DR*; DR; NI; NC; O'L V1 p 345, 409

Killinchy Church of Ireland & graveyard Killinchy Church of Ireland at the top of the hill    

Killinchy Church of Ireland
at the north end of the village of Killinchy on top of a hill with views of Strangford Lough

This parish church was built on the site of an older Catholic chapel. The old Church of Ireland was called 'the Visible Church' because of its location. It was dilapidated so a new church was built 1829-1830 at a cost of £800. The rector in 1830 was Rev. Henry Ward. The new church was described in 1836 as a neat, well finished building with a tower & gallery. It was capable of holding 300 people with the usual summer attendance of 200. The Glebe House described in 1836 as a very neat, comfortable house adjoined the church with 12 acres. Rev. Arhcibald Hamilton Trail was rector here for many years c. 1820. The rector in 1910 was Rev. Dr. Burton.

Newspaper articles from Newtownards Chronicle;
another squabble over graveyard, rector convicted 6 Oct 1894; judgement against Dr. Burton over graveyard squabble 5 Jan 1895

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder ;
graveyard cleaned and 15th century stones found 3 Apr 1915*; Rev. R.S. Breene, rector since 1920, appointed to St. Peters Belfast 26 Apr 1826*

Records available baptisms 1820-1877, marriages 1825- 1844, burials 1831- 1876 , PRONI MIC /583/6; Killyleagh Library holds a list of rectors from 1637 & extracts from Vestry minutes from 1716; LDS have baptisms 1820-1877, marriages 1825-1844, burials 1831-1876 Film #823877, item 6; UHF has baptisms 1820-77 ; graveyard attached, gravestones UHF Vol 6; email me for a gravestone look-up

The above photos were kindly sent to me by Bruce McCullough

References;V7 p 91, 92 OSM; FR; GIPR: GIC ; DR*; O'L V1 p 347; POD


Killinchy 1st Presbyterian Church

1st Presbyterian Church
in Balloo townland

This congregation was originally united with Killyleagh under Rev. Bole. The earliest Presbyterian minister of Killinchy, the Rev. John Livingstone, was minister from 1630 until he fled to Scotland in 1637 and after troubled times . Rev. Livingston sent over Rev. Michael Bruce from Scotland in 1657 who was later ordered to exile himself to the "wild woods of Killinchy". A separate meeting house was finally built in 1670. The Rev. Archibald Hamilton was minister from 1693 until 1699 then Rev. James Reid from 1702- 1753.

A T-shaped building was erected in 1714 and extended in 1739 as the following inscription over one of the doors indicates:- "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. A. D. 1739 " . The next minister was supposed to be Rev. Joseph Kinkead from 1755 but disputes with Killyleagh Church extended this until 1763 . He died in 1782 . The minister from 1783 until 1795 was Rev. George McEwen and succeeded by Rev. Samuel Watson 1797- 1835 when he was suspended for Arianism. The church divided on doctrine but 600 people remained and the others built another meeting house in another part of the townland.The probationary minister in 1798 was Rev. David Bailie Warden who was embroiled in the United Irishmen Rebellion.

In 1836 it was described as being built in the form of a cross and capable of holding 700 people.The minister from 1836 until `871 was Rev. David Anderson . The Anderson Memorial Hall is on the left. The minister from 1872 until at least 1910 was Rev. David R. Moore from Belfast & then Rev William Smyth who lived at the Manse , Hollypark. c. 1910-1940, the minister was Rev S. Eaton.(DR)

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder:
new organ & electricity installed 9 Apr 1928* ; congregation wishes its minister Rev W.A. Montgomery to decline a move to Black Rock 14 May 1936*

Records available are baptisms 1812- 1837 & births 1835- 1900, marriages 1812- 1845, PRONI MIC/1P/404; Killyleagh Library holds baptisms 1812-1854, marriages 1812-1854 ; LDS have baptisms 1813 -1837 & marriages 1812 - 1842 on film #823877; & Film #822877, Batch C700291 & M700291 ; North of Ireland FHS ( has baptisms 1812 -1923 & marriages 1813 -1922; burying ground attached; gravestones inscriptions in UHF Vol 6 ; email me for a gravestone look-up

This photo was kindly sent to me by Bruce McCullough

References;HCPCI p167-168; V7 p 91, 92 OSM: GIPR: GIC; MIs; POD ;MOA p150; DR 26/11/1940; Dryasdust (Non Subscribing Magazine)


Presbyterian Non Subscribing Church

in Balloo townland, on the Killinchy to Saintfield road

This Non Subscribing Meeting House was built when they split with the 1st Presbyterian over doctrine. Firstly, a wattle church was built in 1670 and the next in 1711 with another in 1740 & another church during the ministry of Rev.George McEwen. The minister in 1797 was Rev. Samuel Watson. The congregation was turned out after seven years of litigation with the Synod of Ulster but they then took only a week to build another wooden structure . A site was obtained in Ballyministra for the erection of a permanent meeting house & the present church was opened in Aug 1846 & could hold 700 people. Rev. Samuel Watson stayed until his death in 1856. Rev. John McCaw was minister for 29 years until his death in 1884. A manse was built in 1878. The minister 1908-1939 was Rev. David John Williams. When Rev. Robert McKee was minister in 1973, the congregation had dwindled & they couldn't pay a full salary so ge took a job in education.

Records at PRONI CR/4/7; North of Ireland FHS ( has baptisms 1812 -1923 & marriages 1813 -1922; LDS IGI have marriages 1819-1845 in Batch # C700301 & M700301 ; graveyard attached. It is said that , families cut hollows in the earth to define their burying space
See their website- for histories of church & ministers

Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church, Killinchy
This lovely old postcard dated 28 Dec 1920 was kindly sent by Nancy Schaalje; the back reads R.J. McCullough, Killinchy & sent to Alice Morrow References; DR* 24/8/2005; POD;; Dryasdust (Non Subscribing Magazine)


Ballymacashin Presbyterian Church

2nd or Reformed Presbyterian Church, Ballymacashin

on the Killinchy to Saintfield road

This meeting house was erected when the congregation at the 1st Presbyterian church divided on doctrine. They met in a barn until the church could be built in 1847. In 1864 the sexton's house & yard was next door. Also known as Killinchy R. P. Church. The minister in 1910 was Rev Matthew Hodge.

Records available are marriages 1835-1845; graveyard adjacent ; gravestones UHF Vol 5 & 6;email me for a gravestone look-up There was also an ancient graveyard in this townland of which nothing remained in 1833.

References; GIPR; DR ; GIC; POD


Raffrey Presbyterian Church

Raffrey Presbyterian Church
on the Saintfield/Killyleagh Road

This meeting house was built in 1843. The minister c. 1864 was Rev. Ringland Fisher. The minister 1930-1933 was Rev. Walter Russell Entrican & in 1936 was Rev. R. Houston.

Newspaper article from Newtownards Chronicle;
death of Rev. Ringland Fisher, minister 14 Jan 1888

Newspaper article from Down Recorder;
annual flower show 28 Sep 1936 & 17 Sep 1937*; farewell to minister Rev. R. Houston 13 Nov 1939*

Records available are baptisms 1843- 1885, marriages 1844- 1877, LDS have baptisms 1835-1900 and marriages 1835-1845 Film # 824373, item 4 or Batch #C700111 & M700111; graveyard attached, oldest stone from 1845; gravestone inscriptions UHF Vol 5; email me for a gravestone look-up

References;V5 MI; GIPR: GIC; NC; LM 1997 p78; DR; MO 30/5/2018 p26 (175th Annivesary)


Ravara Presbyterian Church

Ravara Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church
on the Ballygowan/Saintfield Road

The congregation was formed in 1837 and this meeting house was built in 1839 and was connected to Moneyreagh Non -Subscribing church. It was described as a small building which was a perfect example of the intentionally plain, vernacular, hall-type rural meeting-house, commonly built during the 18th century.

Graveyard attached, gravestone inscriptions UHF Vol 5, oldest stone 1851; email me for a gravestone look-up

References;V5 MI; GIC: DR 28/11/2001;


Carrickmannon Catholic Church

Carrickmannon Catholic Chapel - St. Joseph's
near the crossroads
Parochial House see under Saintfield

This chapel was erected in 1807 by Rev Hugh Green. In 1836 it was described as a small , plain, oblong whitewashed chapel with a slate roof, capable of holding 200 people standing. Its dimensions were 24 by 57 feet. It was rebuilt after a storm on 6 Jan 1839 by Rev. Richard McGlogan and reconsecrated by Dr. Denvir on 15 Dec 1849 . Father Magill spent £300 in enlarging and improving it c. 1860. The priest in 1910 was Rev. J. Shields.

Newspaper article from Newtownards Chronicle;
Sabbath School, one of the oldest in Co Down 20 Oct 1894

Burials were at Kilcairn graveyard until 20th century when it became full then graves were permitted around the church.

Records available ; has registers to view 1845-1883; PRONI & NLI have baptisms 1837- 1881, marriages 1845-1883; UHF has baptisms 1837- 1900 & marriages 1845-1900, 20th century graveyard , gravestone inscription UHF Vol 5; Only one grave is pre 1900.

References;KCB p 30; V7 p 91, 92 OSM; V5 MI; TIA: GIC; O'L V1 p 377,380; POD ; LM 1994 p71

Drumreagh Bridge

Drumreagh Bridge

This stone bridge over the Blackwater River was built in 1804 by Patrick Patton (plaque on the left wall) . The village of Drumreagh is beyond. This photo was kindly sent by Tracey Aaron.


by Ros Davies